When discussing the expense of buying an electric or hybrid car, it seems too often the costs taken into consideration are merely short-term monetary ones. However, a new study published in the New England Journal of Medicine last week makes it clear that there are some savings to be realized that go far beyond filthy lucre. Its findings reveal that cleaner air directly correlates to a longer life. For instance, of the three year increase in the average American lifespan between 1978 and 2001, the authors of the study found that 4.8 months of that could be directly attributed to cleaner air resulting from a decline in particulate matter. Of 51 cities analyzed in the work, Pittsburgh and Buffalo, NY not only had the most improved air, but also the longest life extension at 10 months.

How much money would you pay for an extra 10 months time with your loved ones? How many more priceless months of life could be gained if we all drove zero-emission vehicles powered by non-polluting renewable resources? Of course, that's a dream that won't happen anytime soon, but it is one we might consider working towards if we truly value life.

[Source: Associated Press]

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